Getting up out of the early growth stage is one of the hardest climbs for start-ups in Africa. This week Russell Southwood talks to Kenyan-based travel tech start-up HotelOnline’s Co-Founder Havar Bauck about growth and finding its “sweet spot” in the competitive world of online travel.

So how did the merger in 2017 go with HotelOga?

The end result of the merger was fine but it was quite a tumultuous story that ended well. Marek Zmyslowski (HotelOga) is no longer with us. HotelOga was two companies: a commercial one in Nigeria and a technology company in Poland.

We did a very thorough due diligence and discovered that HotelOga (in Nigeria) was in financial trouble. Indeed these troubles were deeper than we had assumed. Attempting to solve (the scale of financial loss) would be a gargantuan task. So we called off the merger talks and it then went bankrupt.

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